I Can’t Protect My Daughter From This

10 07 2016

When you become a parent your whole world shifts, and suddenly instead of simply caring for your own well-being you realize you are responsible for that of another. As if the whole newborn requiring your full attention didn’t lead you to this conclusion you’d eventually figure it out when a three year old pried your sleeping eyes open to request much-needed, early morning chocolate milk. As it is you just think you know what love is prior to holding your child, yet from the moment you lock eyes with that wrinkly, tiny face you are shaken to the core. Suddenly it hits you, I made this. It’s my responsibility now. Then your protective nature takes over and you whisper, no one will ever hurt you. Ok?

I mean, that’s what you want. That’s your goal. You become a parent, and your number one job suddenly becomes body guard/cheerleader rolled into the billion other roles parenthood encompasses. You don’t know if you’re cut out for everything parenting entails, but you do know this one thing. You will gladly step in front of a rushing train or speeding bullet to protect your child. No one or no thing will ever hurt them!!

Except it will. They will get hurt, and nine times out of ten there is nothing you can do. 

I was thinking about it this morning, and I realized that as much as I desire to prevent my child from experiencing hurt and pain that in so many ways I am powerless to stop it. Heck, I can’t even control emotional upset and broken relationships in my own adult world. How can I keep them from my baby?!

There will be mean girls who hurt her feelings, and there will be cruel boys who break her little heart. There will be friends who disappoint her, and there will be people she respects who completely let her down. Because I love her so very much I wish to keep her from heartache, but I will likely fail. 

There will be a part of me that wants to maintain her childlike innocence, to prevent her from seeing how careless people can be with one another’s feelings, but in the end I can no more prevent her hurt feelings, bruised ego, and broken heart than I can keep the rain from falling out of the sky. And much the same way as raindrops cascade heavily upon the ground, so too will storms pour onto her own life. 

All my babies will hurt at the hands of others, and I won’t always be able to prevent it. I won’t be there at all times, but even if I was it might not help. Yet I can take solace that the same truths that govern my own life also reign in that of my children. 

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

In this life we encounter unfair circumstances, and we face situations that don’t pan out as we plan. Many times, even as we cry out to God, these instances do not improve. They don’t magically disappear or miraculously get better all of the sudden, but that doesn’t mean that God has forsaken us. In fact, it means that He cares very, very deeply. He cares so much that instead of taking away our distress He walks through it with us giving us strength and allowing our character to build. 

So when I believe the Bible to be true (which I do) I can take peace in the fact that the Lord loves my children even more than I do, that He will never forsake them, and that He will use circumstances of this world to refine and hone the lives of my loves. I will not be able to prevent worldly pain in my daughters’ lives, but I can rest assured that the Lord will draw them ever closer to Him as they persevere through the hard times. And when it comes down to it, their relationship with Jesus is what I want most for them. Not a pain-free life; just a life full of Christ.